Photographer Thibaud Poirier has been making his way across Europe to capture the incredible interiors of churches and temples. In a continuation of his series Sacred Spaces, Poirier explores 15 more modernist places of worship through photographs. In each photo, he carefully preserves the same composition—a perfectly centered image with the focal point at the front of the pulpit.
Thanks to the symmetry of this careful approach to documentation, scrolling through the series allows viewers to make quick comparisons of the aesthetics of each structure. The height of vaults and length of corridors may change, but other qualities tend to remain the same, such as the long rows of pews and the imagery at the pulpit. The series also acts as a celebration of light and structure. The holy atmosphere of these spaces can begin to be understood as the result of a perfectly placed skylight or an impressive arch.
While the architectural gestures obviously play a role, Poirier is more poetic when describing the shared qualities of these interiors. “Despite their great stylistic differences,” he explains, “the glue between these churches remains invisible to the human eye yet vibrates within each of us: the emotional state created whilst one is present. The sense of belonging. The conviction of something larger than us all.”
The series has adapted to the travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sacred Spaces II mostly includes photographs from churches in France, Germany, and the Netherlands, built mostly between the 20th and 21st centuries. Poirier will soon add more to the series as restrictions lift.
For more from Poirier, be sure to explore our coverage of the first works in Sacred Spaces. You can also find his entire collection of work on his website.